First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DADDY-O!!!!!! In celebration of your birthday, the Germans had the equivalent of Labor Day, and there's a Maypole set up near our house. Javoll! I made a point of listening to The Messiah a lot this week because I remember how Dad told me he learned and loved the Messiah on his mission, so that was my odd indirect birthday present to him. I've definitely found a favorite song so far - "For unto us a Child is Born" is just beautiful in the way it builds. And now, as I read the scriptures I just notice lyrics to the Messiah as I read and will burst out into singing in the middle of studies, so that's always fun.
To be honest, not much happened this week. But Sister Bishop is super cool - when we were doing our regular call-in report about what we had done that week, Sister Bishop said "We're enjoying the famine before the feast." Which was cool. How 'bout that attitude? I love working with her. There's still so much potential to be reached here in Stuttgart, and we're excited to just keep thrusting in our sickles and inviting everything that moves to come unto Christ. :)
We went back to the Area Book this week. Sister Threlkeld and I spent an hour tearing it apart one of my first evenings we were here, and we literally called about every number we found. We hadn't done much with it since, so Sister Bishop and I wrote down some addresses of people who, at one point, had been interested in learning more about the gospel. The people with phone numbers are called fairly often, but the people where we just have addresses aren't contacted so often. But it's a BIG book, and I'm sometimes scared to contact old people because there might have been a particular reason they stopped meeting with missionaries - and they aren't always so thrilled to see you again. But we had a chunk of time one evening this week, and we prayed to know what we should do, and felt like going by on a family in a particular area. So we went there (even though it was a little far - we even had to take a regional train) and tracked down the home. Not only did the family still live there, but they said we could come back and we made an appointment! AH! It was the coolest. We realized afterward how we had been guided by the Spirit to go there. Super cool!
There was another afternoon this week when we didn't have TONS to do, so we decided to track down a super less-active member on a street called Solitude Allee. We found the street on the map, and trekked out there...but didn't see any house numbers. Hm. We then realized how peculiar the street was; it was pretty rural and SUPER straight. We asked someone about it, and they said that this street was 14 KILOMETERS LONG and was a direct path from Schloss Solitude to Schloss Ludwigsburg. There was a king who ordered that the road was built, and apparently he covered the road with salt so he could be driven around in a sleigh in the summer? I think that's what I understood. But I'm never 100% sure. The only numbers we found were 173 and 39...and the number we needed was right in the middle. It was absolutely beautiful though. I just love Germany in the Spring. Everything is bright green and mossy and covered in wildflowers, and it's exactly how you would expect Germany to look.
|Walking along the lengthy Solitude Allee|
Funny thing with the language though. Two things actually. First of all, we have a friend of ours who only came to Germany for 6 weeks. I asked Sister Bishop why, and she said "She came here to learn German - she's doing a language course." And then without thinking I blurted out "You can't learn a language in 6 weeks!" And then we stopped. And looked at each other. And LAUGHED because that's exactly what we do but it somehow seems completely reasonable for missionaries to do and ridiculous for other people to do, so... that was pretty funny.
And the second thing: I had to translatein church! The last time I was asked to translate was my third transfer in Wien -- it was awful. I remember that I could barely understand myself and just feeling dead afterward with a huge headache. Since then I've avoided it like the Plague, but during testimony meeting someone was just like "Can you translate?" And then it was happening. And I totally didn't die! There was one Schwäbisch woman that I couldn't really understand so I didn't translate her testimony, but everyone else I could generally translate what they were saying. It was so crazy. I'm so so so incredibly grateful for the Gift of Tongues and that Heavenly Father helps us to learn languages, because there is absolutely NO way I would have been able to accomplish that myself.
Last week for P-day we fulfilled my utmost dream by visiting the beautiful Stuttgart Opera! The Operhaus is right by a park that we contact in a lot, so I've been passing it for months itching to go inside. To just be in a theater. I've missed it so much! Fortunately we have a super cool member of our ward who works there so he took us on a tour and it's just beautiful and grand and perfect inside. We even snuck into a rehearsal of the Stuttgart Ballett for a second and just watched them. And we got to walk around backstage and see where they make everything and it was so funny because I felt so at home just being inside a performing arts center, but at the same time it's so funny how we stuck out in comparison to all of these German performing arts people. Super cool though!
|Sisters Bushman and Bishop in the Stuttgart Opera House|
|Opera House -- where they paint the backdrops and paintings|
Besides that...we're going to try and visit Burg Hohenzollern today, and we finally got to try Fufu this week. It's from Ghana. Google it. I even ate the whole thing with my hands like you're supposed to!
I can't believe we're Skyping for Mother's Day next week. Whaaaaaaaaa...............? I feel like Christmas was just yesterday. I can't wait to see your beautiful faces, beautiful family!